Remember allllll the way back in January when I was a Participating Designer in the 2013 Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House?

Well it's almost one year later and now that the pics were published in the December 2013 issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, I can FINALLY reveal my space to the world (minus those of you Atlanta folk who were able to make the tour)!

  As a refresher, here was my conceptual rendering for the space:

And here's what my vision looked like when it came to life:

My inspiration was simple--I knew I wanted to go with a look that would be extremely bold for the size of the space (my motto for a show house? Go BIG!) yet still feel sophisticated and modern (read: dark & moody with clean lines). Essentially, I wanted it to be me but times 1,000 (lol). With respect to my concept, the finished space hit the nail on the head with what I wanted/hoped to see and am SO happy how the space turned out. The bold color was much more chartreuse than yellow (daggone pics!), but I love the way the images capture the look and feel of the overall space.

Here's a look at the back hallway/entry to the upstairs apartment BEFORE I created my magic:

Talk about visual drama. 
It's been almost a year since the 2013 Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House debuted and as I look back, I still don't think there's too much I would do differently given the same resources (and that's saying a lot from me, someone who ALWAYS leaves a job thinking about where I can improve)--I loved this space!

If you're new to my blog, you can catch up on this series by reading the posts I wrote before, during and after my show house experience. Click here for Part I (my leap of faith and how I got started), here  for Part IIhere  for Part III, here for Part IV, and here for Part V (and my tips and tricks for those of you wanting to participate in a show house).

So now that you've seen the big reveal I have to ask...was it all you imagined??


Embarking on a project like this can be scary, especially for the first time.
I didn't have anyone in my personal circle who'd participated in a show house  before (as a designer), so I couldn't pick anyone's brain.  Ultimately, I had to weigh the options, make the decisions and take the jump myself. When I was packing up last week, I got to thinking, "What advice would I give someone in a similar situation?" So here it is--my advice to you, if you're thinking about getting involved in a show house.
(read my previous posts here, here, here and here to learn more about my in the moment experience) 
#1. Take the leap. Don't get so worked up in the beginning about who might be submitting, what they might be designing and HOW they're designing it. If you're feeling the house and think you can do something fabulous, start pulling it together and submit your plan. It's natural to want to know who's doing what, but truly, it's not worth obsessing over because you'll NEVER know (plus you don't want that to affect YOUR ideas). Don't stress over not getting in...if you don't get in this time, that doesn't mean it won't happen next time--you're not a failure. Maybe your plan didn't fit with the overall vibe of the house or maybe your presentation wasn't as strong as it could be. If your committee is approachable, give someone a ring & find out what you can do better next time. And then drop it & move on. 
#2. Budget more than you think. Set a no más number as you formulate your design plan but definitely keep that contingency fund on deck. You can go into it thinking you're only going to spend X dollars, but this isn't the place to skimp if you can avoid it at all costs. It's a showcase, so you'll want to put the best presentation of you forward (within your budget, of course), but keep in mind that things always happen. In my case, a woman slipped down a stair and yanked one of my mirrored picture frames off the wall to brace herself. Needless to say, it shattered & I had to replace it. Oh--and did I mention this happened twice?? 
Mo' money, mo' money...
#3.  Trust the process. There will be MANY people who make changes after their submission, have vendors/resources fall through, don't know how they're gonna get XYZ done, & don't decide on the final touches until install week. No one will admit it in the beginning, but wait until the house gets installed and the stories will start coming out. When you're new to this, you'll feel like it's just you, but trust me, it's not. No one wants to show their hand in the beginning so everyone acts like they have it under control...and while that might be the case for some, it's absolutely not for everyone. Breathe deep & keep pushing. If you're doing the show for the right reasons (like NOT trying to make it a competition but doing it as an expression of your art), everything will come together. I can't tell you how, but I assure you it will. 
#4. Opinion proof your space. Yup, it's possible, and it's great advice for anyone embarking on an artistic endeavor. The best way to make your space/art immune to the criticisms & opinions of other people is to do what you think is best. Seriously--as we say in the streets--do you. If you start by creating a plan that YOU love & know is amazing, you're not tied into people's responses. You can be grateful for those who come in and are blown away by your work as well as those who come in and say crazy things (like, in my case, "this is TOO MUCH!") because you KNOW that the space is a perfect representation of you & YOUR design aesthetic. So when people don't like what you've done, it simply means that it's not their style and they're NOT your ideal client...not that your design isn't all the way bomb. In my case, I knew what I was doing was bold and wasn't for everybody, so when people came in who didn't love it, I didn't wear their opinion like a coat and make it about me. It ultimately wasn't their style and that was fine...because they aren't "my people" anyway. PERIOD.
#5. Go bold. Now this is reeealllly my opinion (then again, this whole post is) but here's my 2 cents: If you're doing a show house, I think you should take the opportunity to push the limits. Be dramatic or daring, but do the style you love best and take it up a notch. Show people something they may not have seen before, or give them ideas for things they can do in their own place. Were my colors bold? Absolutely. Would I do that same treatment in those same colors in my house? Absolutely not. But together, the colors AND the spirit of the design were very me. I showed people how to take a really bright drapery color and make it work in a space that was not only bold but awkward. I used a beautiful black carpet with a heavy pattern and showed people that sometimes busier IS better, especially with carpets. I used pendants from CB2 and got so many compliments & questions from a crowd that was mostly Crate & Barrel (and didn't know about CB2!) . I printed out photos from online that represented me & MY culture...because that's what I'd do in my own space or for a client. In the end, I took my normal design aesthetic & kicked it up a notch.  And I'm happy I did!
Show houses are fun & stressful & confidence builders & sometimes, trials of fire. But as a designer, I think it's a great thing to participate in, not only to get your name/brand/business out to a wider audience, but also to make great new contacts in your field. Don't expect to get a ton of clients, but just knowing that you have the chops to do me, that's payment enough.
If you're thinking about participating in a show house & have some questions, feel free to ask in the comments!
**pics courtesy of Where We Nestle



I. am. beat. 
And the Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House JUST opened to the public on Sunday, so I've got 2 more weeks to go.

Between long install nights, last minutes tweaks, parties PLUS a full day of standing in some ridiculously high heels for 6 hours (I know, I did it to myself), I got home on Sunday night, showered & promptly fell into bed at 6:45 pm. 
But the Sunday opening was good.

Close to 500 people came through the house on the opening day and I got some great feedback...those who had seen it before were shocked at the transformation. It's funny how God works things out, too...I am SO thankful that I ended up with the Apartment Entry Hall/Stairway and not the Telephone Nook that I originally wanted. People have to walk through my space to get to the apartment and it ended up being a perfect match to the upstairs space which was designed by Bryan Alan Kirkland. And when I say perfect match, I mean drapes are the same color as his walls, and it was not planned since no one knew what I was doing until last week! Our spaces flow together seamlessly. 
So lots of traffic on Sunday, met some great new people & potential clients plus lots of blog friends came out to support me (and Sherry, Lori & Ally, too!) at the Press event on Thursday. 
 Joann Kandrac, Kandrac & Kole & Lauren
Niki McNeil, Single Bubble Pop
The house will be open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 11-5 for the next 2 weeks, so I hope those of you who are ATL-based will get a chance to stop by & see all of the amazing work that's been done. 
If you plan to stop by, let me know--I'd love to see you there!



Ok, so I'm excited. 
I pushed myself to do something way out of my comfort zone--I originally wanted to say "no" to this space-- but I have to admit, my room at the Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House has come together pretty well. 
Like, I'm really happy with it. 
(every time I see that carpet I die a thousand times...I LOVE it)
When I look back at the original photos and see how far the space has come, I'm kind of blown away...and although it sounds a bit poppin' my collar-ish, it's the honest truth. I knew that I wanted my space to be bold & eye catching, but it also had to be modern...maybe not exactly what I'd have in my house, but definitely the same vibe. And I think I achieved that. But in true Dayka-fashion, I obsessed over that space. And when I say obsessed, I mean I actually sketched & painted the design on one of the walls in my office because I wanted to live with it for awhile and see how the colors would play together (and I'm glad I did this, too, as I ended up changing the order of the colors). Your eyebrows might raise if you knew some of the crazy things I do when I'm in the midst of designing a space!
The hallway & stairway leading to the apartment was a challenging little space--small (with a LOT of wall space), tight, a main thoroughfare (which means lots of traffic jams & maneuvering), has sloping floors, 3 different ceiling heights, lots of fire alarms/fire lights/exit signs/random doo-hickeys on the walls and is just not architecturally all. I knew I wanted it dark & dramatic, so that's what I went for--kind of like a "go big or go home" type of thing, except I had no plans to go home. 
Yesterday, when we had a private event at the house, my heart skipped a beat every time someone walked in, looked around & said "Wow". That's what I wanted people to feel when they walked into my space & to be able to hear that kind of reaction felt truly amazing. 
So now the bad news.
I can't show you any real pics until JUNE, since Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles has first publishing rights and their story on the house & all the designers will be in that issue. Kind of sucks, but in the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy the teasers! 
What's next for me??
Lots of Inspiration House events & parties over the next 2 weeks, plus getting back to client work that's been on hold. Installation was crazy with a few really long days, but the one thing it definitely reminded me is....
I love my job.
I love my life.


I wanted to write this really good post last night, but I was exhausted by the time I got home & fell right into bed. And of course I'm up and running again! So in lieu of a great long post, I'll leave you a few pics & tell you the story tomorrow. 
So remember how I planned to do this for the Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House?
Well I was asked to do a different space and had to come up with another concept, since the nailhead thing I loved was totally out of the question with the high ceilings/larger space and all. So here's the space I ended up with, which leads into an upstairs apartment. Lots of light, plus you have to walk through it to get to the apartment, so it's kinda sweet...
And here's my concept:

Bold, dark + that any surprise??
And so I don't hold you in suspense for too long, here's a peek of the carpet I selected-- which I LOVE--going down:
Now I gotta run...drapery (chartreuse!!!!) & lighting go up in about an hour, plus a little styling on the back end--the fun part.
'Till tomorrow, loves !!